NBN Co picks 'turnaround experts' for company review

Deloitte, KordaMentha, and Boston Consulting have been brought on for the 60-day strategic review of NBN Co.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

NBN Co has picked three consulting firms to help the company undertake its 60-day strategic review of the National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout in light of the change of government.

Despite a claim last month from Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull that consulting firms would not be producing the 60-day review into NBN Co's operations, the company has today announced that Deloitte, KordaMentha, and Boston Consulting Group have been appointed to advise NBN Co through the 60-day review of the company.

Deloitte will be brought on to provide "governance and program management office services" to ensure that the review is completed by the December 2 deadline. The "turnaround expert" KordaMentha will be responsible for analysing NBN Co's operational and financial performance.

Boston Consulting Group will undertake the mammoth task of reviewing NBN Co's targets, products, and finances under proposed alternatives to the current fibre-to-the-premises NBN.

The appointment of three consulting firms to review the company comes in stark contrast to comments from Turnbull at the end of September, where he told journalists that the review would not be swamped by consultant firms.

"It is very important in an exercise like this that it is not just produced by a consulting firm that does their report and drops it on the board table, takes their fee and goes home," he said at the time.

"This has got to belong to, be owned by, the management of the NBN Co. Now they will undoubtedly get input from consultants here and there and knowledgeable and expert people and experience people both inside and outside the company, but ultimately, it's got to be owned by the management. I think that is absolutely critical, because otherwise, you get into the situation you see with a lot of companies, where consultants come in and do a report and leave it there, and management say 'well, we didn't write that, we don't own that, we're not responsible for that'.

"This is got to be something the management and the board can say to the shareholder — the government — this is where we are, this is where we think we'll get to under the previous plan, this is what we can do about it."

NBN Co said today that the review is being led by the three-person NBN Co board and the executive team under the sponsorship of new NBN Co employee JB Rousselot, who is the head of strategy and transformation.

"The company will also mobilise a cross-divisional team of NBN Co employees, who will work closely with the external consultants," NBN Co said.

"The document will form a key input into the company's 2014-17 Corporate Plan, which is due to be delivered to the government in the first half of next year."

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